Fantasy basketball tips and projections for Saturday

Amen Thompson has seen an increase in playing time and opportunity as part of the Houston Rockets rotation. Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

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What you need to know for Saturday's games

With several new roles and rotations set to debut around the league during Saturday's busy 11-game slate with the dust is officially settling from the trade deadline. Friday afforded fantasy managers a look at some of these shifting scenarios, such as the Washington Wizards empowering rookie Bilal Coulibaly (rostered in 2.1% of ESPN leagues) in a starting role in the wake of dealing starting center Daniel Gafford to the Dallas Mavericks.

Coulibaly scored a career-best 21 points in Friday's competitive loss to the top-seeded Boston Celtics and the team appears primed to trust smaller lineups, which could lead to a post-break breakout for Coulibaly and his elite defensive rates.

It's possible Washington's rookie stopper is most ideal for deeper and dynasty formats, while Saturday's matchup with a reshuffled Philadelphia 76ers roster comes on the heels of the team lofting 45 3-pointers in a loss to the Atlanta Hawks on Friday. Volume shooter Buddy Hield (67.4%) lived up to his reputation with a dozen looks from deep in his debut with Philadelphia. We might even see revitalized fantasy impact from Cam Payne (2.2%), who delivered a strong line and could feast on Tyus Jones in direct matchups today.

The day in the NBA actually begins in the afternoon with the Oklahoma City Thunder visiting the Dallas Mavericks in a matchup with the highest total of the slate at 241.5 on ESPN BET. Gordon Hayward's (25.7%) calf issue will keep him from his introduction to the Thunder rotation, although we should see P.J. Washington (61.8%) don a Dallas kit for the first time. It will be compelling to see how the Mavericks manage minutes and roles between Washington, Gafford, and their incumbent frontcourt contributors.

The New York Knicks host the Indiana Pacers Saturday night in a matchup that should feature former Pacers' standout Bojan Bogdanovic (46.2%) debut for the Knicks. The veteran's shooting gravity could help open the floor for a team missing Julius Randle and OG Anunoby to multi-week injuries.

The rest of the slate offers some potentially competitive and offensively friendly matchups; the Houston Rockets visit the Hawks in a game that should prove high-scoring in nature, while the Phoenix Suns seek to take down the host Golden State Warriors in a meeting of veteran-driven rosters.

Make sure to peruse box scores as the day of NBA action unfolds, as we are likely to learn some actionable information from the variety of new-look rotations featured on Saturday.

Saturday's Stream Team

This segment nominates three key streaming options ahead of that day's action. A streamer, by our standards, is a player available in at least half of ESPN men's basketball leagues.

Donte DiVincenzo, SG , New York Knicks (44.4% rostered in ESPN leagues)

The most popular fantasy free agent of the past week, DiVincenzo has been brilliant as a scoring and shooting source for the Knicks during a stretch that has included several injuries to key starters. If Jalen Brunson sits again today, DiVincenzo has slate-shifting upside. Even if his collegiate buddy is active, DiVincenzo merits attention for a busy two-way role in a plus matchup with the pace-driven Pacers. As mentioned above, we'll also want to keep an eye on how Bogdanovic and even Alec Burks fit into the Knicks' deepened rotation.

Onyeka Okongwu, PF/C, Atlanta Hawks (56.6%)

Emerging the Hawks' top pivot with Clint Capela injured, Okongwu produces like, well, a prime Houston Capela. Which is to say, gobs of rebounds, efficient scoring, and defensive results are to be expected in a matchup with the Rockets.

Amen Thompson, SG, Houston Rockets (19.8%)

Playing more minutes and delivering meaningful fantasy results in recent games, Thompson is the rare rookie who can produce a major fantasy performance without the need for many points. Tonight's matchup with Atlanta's softer defense appears appealing for this rising rookie.

Vince Williams Jr., SG/SF, Memphis Grizzlies (21.9%)

The deadline revealed that Memphis is pivoting to lottery odds and a reset from this injury-plagued season. This realization also could include continued growth and exposure for the team's collection of young talent, such as Williams and his recent growth as a playmaker and rebounder. It's also worth eyeing forward Santi Aldama (5.5%), and rookie GG Jackson (3.4), as he's becoming a real bucket in an expanded role ahead of tonight's matchup with the reeling Hornets.

Nick Richards, Charlotte Hornets (10.0%)

The rare bright spot in the Hornets' downward trend this season, Richards should see steadier minutes and opportunities to produce now that Washington and Hayward are out of the rotation. With a solid double-double against the Bucks last night, Richards is a nice plug-and-play given a matchup with the depleted Grizzlies.

Projections and Injury Reports

Fantasy projections powered by ESPN Analytics* Projections assume all players who are listed as GTD will play. Injury aggregation by Rotowire.com. Players available in at least 50% of ESPN leagues are listed in italics.

Oklahoma City Thunder at Dallas Mavericks
3 p.m. American Airlines Center, Dallas

BPI Projection: Thunder in the 5th highest-scoring game of the slate.

Injury Report:
Thunder: Gordon Hayward, (OUT - Calf)
Mavericks: Kyrie Irving, (GTD - Thumb); Luka Doncic, (GTD - Nose); Maxi Kleber, (GTD - Toe); P.J. Washington, (GTD - Not Injury Related); Dante Exum, (OUT - Knee); Dereck Lively II, (OUT - Nose); Richaun Holmes, (GTD - Not Injury Related)

Thunder projections:

Mavericks projections:

Detroit Pistons at LA Clippers
3:30 p.m. Crypto.com Arena, Los Angeles

BPI Projection: Clippers in the 4th highest-scoring game of the slate.

Injury Report:
Pistons: Ausar Thompson, (GTD - Ankle); Cade Cunningham, (GTD - Knee); Shake Milton, (GTD - Not Injury Related); Troy Brown Jr., (GTD - Not Injury Related); Evan Fournier, (OUT - Not Injury Related); Isaiah Stewart, (OUT - Ankle); Malachi Flynn, (OUT - Not Injury Related); Quentin Grimes, (OUT - Knee)
Clippers: None reported

Pistons projections:

Clippers projections:

  • Kawhi Leonard, SF/PF: 45.6 FPTS (25.2 pts, 6.2 reb, 3.6 ast, 2.1 3PM)

  • James Harden, PG/SG: 39.8 FPTS (17.1 pts, 5.3 reb, 8.0 ast, 2.6 3PM)

  • Paul George, SG/SF/PF: 36.8 FPTS (20.1 pts, 4.6 reb, 3.4 ast, 3.0 3PM)

  • Ivica Zubac, C: 26.9 FPTS (12.2 pts, 9.7 reb, 1.3 ast, 1.3 blk)

  • Russell Westbrook, PG: 24.6 FPTS (11.3 pts, 4.3 reb, 4.1 ast)

  • Norman Powell, SG/SF: 18.5 FPTS (11.0 pts, 2.4 reb, 1.1 ast)

  • Terance Mann, SG/SF: 15.1 FPTS (7.0 pts, 2.8 reb, 1.3 ast)

San Antonio Spurs at Brooklyn Nets
6 p.m. Barclays Center, New York

BPI Projection: Nets in the 6th highest-scoring game of the slate.

Injury Report:
Spurs: Charles Bassey, (OUT - Knee)
Nets: Lonnie Walker IV, (GTD - Hamstring); Cameron Johnson, (OUT - Thigh); Day'Ron Sharpe, (OUT - Knee); Dariq Whitehead, (OUT - Lower Leg)

Spurs projections:

Nets projections:

Memphis Grizzlies at Charlotte Hornets
7 p.m. Spectrum Center, Charlotte, NC

BPI Projection: Grizzlies in the 7th highest-scoring game of the slate.

Injury Report:
Grizzlies: Derrick Rose, (GTD - Ankle); Lamar Stevens, (GTD - Not Injury Related); Yuta Watanabe, (GTD - Not Injury Related); Ziaire Williams, (GTD - Hand); Jake LaRavia, (OUT - Ankle); Brandon Clarke, (OUT - Achilles); Marcus Smart, (OUT - Finger); Desmond Bane, (OUT - Ankle); Ja Morant, (OUT - Shoulder)
Hornets: Davis Bertans, (GTD - Not Injury Related); Grant Williams, (GTD - Not Injury Related); Kyle Lowry, (GTD - Not Injury Related); LaMelo Ball, (GTD - Ankle); Seth Curry, (GTD - Not Injury Related); Tre Mann, (GTD - Not Injury Related); Vasilije Micic, (GTD - Not Injury Related); Mark Williams, (OUT - Back)

Grizzlies projections:

Hornets projections:

Chicago Bulls at Orlando Magic
7 p.m. Amway Center, Orlando

BPI Projection: Magic in the 10th highest-scoring game of the slate.

Injury Report:
Bulls: Alex Caruso, (GTD - Thigh); Coby White, (GTD - Ankle); Torrey Craig, (GTD - Ankle); Patrick Williams, (OUT - Foot); Lonzo Ball, (OUT - Knee); Zach LaVine, (OUT - Foot)
Magic: None reported

Bulls projections:

Magic projections:

Philadelphia 76ers at Washington Wizards
7 p.m. Capital One Arena, Washington, D.C.

BPI Projection: 76ers in the 8th highest-scoring game of the slate.

Injury Report:
76ers: De'Anthony Melton, (GTD - Back); Nicolas Batum, (GTD - Hamstring); Tyrese Maxey, (GTD - Illness); Robert Covington, (OUT - Knee); Joel Embiid, (OUT - Knee)
Wizards: Daniel Gafford, (GTD - Not Injury Related); Isaiah Livers, (GTD - Hip); Marvin Bagley III, (GTD - Back); Patrick Baldwin Jr., (GTD - Ankle)

76ers projections:

  • Tyrese Maxey, PG/SG: 49.7 FPTS (28.7 pts, 3.5 reb, 6.2 ast, 3.3 3PM)

  • Tobias Harris, SF/PF: 41.2 FPTS (21.3 pts, 6.0 reb, 3.8 ast)

  • Kelly Oubre Jr., SF/PF: 29.7 FPTS (17.6 pts, 4.9 reb, 1.0 ast, 1.8 3PM)

  • Buddy Hield, SG/SF: 29.4 FPTS (13.0 pts, 3.4 reb, 3.3 ast, 2.9 3PM)

  • Paul Reed, PF/C: 27.3 FPTS (13.0 pts, 8.5 reb, 1.5 ast, 1.2 blk)

  • Cameron Payne, PG: 15.9 FPTS (7.1 pts, 1.7 reb, 2.2 ast)

  • Mo Bamba, C: 15.9 FPTS (6.7 pts, 5.3 reb, 0.7 ast, 1.3 blk)

Wizards projections:

  • Kyle Kuzma, SF/PF: 41.4 FPTS (24.1 pts, 6.9 reb, 4.1 ast, 2.5 3PM)

  • Deni Avdija, SF/PF: 27.4 FPTS (13.3 pts, 6.2 reb, 3.4 ast)

  • Tyus Jones, PG: 27.3 FPTS (11.4 pts, 2.9 reb, 4.8 ast)

  • Jordan Poole, PG/SG: 27.3 FPTS (15.3 pts, 2.5 reb, 3.7 ast, 2.0 3PM)

  • Corey Kispert, SG/SF: 23.2 FPTS (13.0 pts, 3.0 reb, 1.4 ast, 2.2 3PM)

  • Daniel Gafford, PF/C: 19.9 FPTS (8.9 pts, 6.8 reb, 1.1 ast, 1.7 blk)

  • Bilal Coulibaly, SG: 19.2 FPTS (9.3 pts, 4.2 reb, 1.5 ast)

Houston Rockets at Atlanta Hawks
7:30 p.m. State Farm Arena, Atlanta

BPI Projection: Hawks in the highest-scoring game of the slate.

Injury Report:
Rockets: Cam Whitmore, (GTD - Ankle); Tari Eason, (GTD - Lower Leg); Fred VanVleet, (OUT - Thigh); Steven Adams, (OUT - Knee)
Hawks: Dejounte Murray, (GTD - Back); Mouhamed Gueye, (GTD - Back); Patty Mills, (GTD - Illness); Wesley Matthews, (GTD - Illness); Clint Capela, (OUT - Thigh)

Rockets projections:

Hawks projections:

Indiana Pacers at New York Knicks
7:30 p.m. Madison Square Garden, New York

BPI Projection: Knicks in the 3rd highest-scoring game of the slate.

Injury Report:
Pacers: Doug McDermott, (GTD - Not Injury Related); Jalen Smith, (GTD - Back); Tyrese Haliburton, (GTD - Hamstring); Marcus Morris Sr., (OUT - Foot)
Knicks: Duane Washington Jr., (OUT - Thumb); Alec Burks, (GTD - Not Injury Related); Bojan Bogdanovic, (GTD - Calf); Jalen Brunson, (GTD - Ankle); Jericho Sims, (GTD - Illness); Isaiah Hartenstein, (OUT - Achilles); Julius Randle, (OUT - Shoulder); OG Anunoby, (OUT - Elbow); Mitchell Robinson, (OUT - Ankle)

Pacers projections:

Knicks projections:

Cleveland Cavaliers at Toronto Raptors
7:30 p.m. Scotiabank Arena, Toronto

BPI Projection: Cavaliers in the 11th highest-scoring game of the slate.

Injury Report:
Cavaliers: Tristan Thompson, (OUT - Suspension); Ty Jerome, (OUT - Ankle)
Raptors: None reported

Cavaliers projections:

Raptors projections:

  • Scottie Barnes, SF/PF: 38.0 FPTS (20.3 pts, 6.3 reb, 5.9 ast, 1.8 3PM)

  • RJ Barrett, SG/SF: 35.7 FPTS (22.1 pts, 5.0 reb, 3.5 ast, 2.0 3PM)

  • Immanuel Quickley, PG/SG: 32.0 FPTS (17.4 pts, 3.7 reb, 4.6 ast, 2.3 3PM)

  • Jakob Poeltl, C: 24.8 FPTS (11.4 pts, 7.8 reb, 2.3 ast, 1.2 blk)

  • Gary Trent Jr., PG/SG: 20.8 FPTS (12.6 pts, 2.6 reb, 1.0 ast, 2.4 3PM)

  • Kelly Olynyk, PF/C: 18.5 FPTS (6.9 pts, 4.3 reb, 3.4 ast)

  • Bruce Brown, SG/SF: 17.6 FPTS (8.1 pts, 3.1 reb, 1.9 ast)

Phoenix Suns at Golden State Warriors
8:30 p.m. Chase Center, San Francisco

BPI Projection: Warriors in the 2nd highest-scoring game of the slate.

Injury Report:
Suns: Bradley Beal, (GTD - Ankle); Damion Lee, (OUT - Knee)
Warriors: Chris Paul, (OUT - Hand)

Suns projections:

  • Kevin Durant, SF/PF: 48.0 FPTS (28.8 pts, 6.4 reb, 6.0 ast, 1.8 3PM)

  • Devin Booker, PG/SG/PF: 43.2 FPTS (25.6 pts, 4.4 reb, 6.3 ast, 2.0 3PM)

  • Bradley Beal, PG/SG: 36.4 FPTS (20.4 pts, 4.4 reb, 5.0 ast)

  • Jusuf Nurkic, C: 28.7 FPTS (11.9 pts, 9.4 reb, 3.8 ast)

  • Grayson Allen, SG: 21.2 FPTS (9.5 pts, 3.7 reb, 2.7 ast, 1.8 3PM)

  • Eric Gordon, SG/SF: 19.1 FPTS (9.2 pts, 2.2 reb, 2.0 ast, 2.0 3PM)

  • David Roddy, PF: 17.0 FPTS (8.5 pts, 4.3 reb, 1.4 ast)

Warriors projections:

New Orleans Pelicans at Portland Trail Blazers
10 p.m. Moda Center, Portland

BPI Projection: Pelicans in the 9th highest-scoring game of the slate.

Injury Report:
Pelicans: Naji Marshall, (GTD - Back)
Blazers: Dalano Banton, (GTD - Not Injury Related); Deandre Ayton, (GTD - Illness); Duop Reath, (GTD - Knee); Malcolm Brogdon, (GTD - Illness); Scoot Henderson, (GTD - Foot); Anfernee Simons, (OUT - Ankle); Moses Brown, (OUT - Wrist); Shaedon Sharpe, (OUT - Abdomen); Robert Williams III, (OUT - Knee)

Pelicans projections:

Blazers projections: